Pakistan barred a U.S. diplomat from leaving amid tense relations

Vastavam web: Pakistani authorities have barred a U.S. diplomat involved in a fatal traffic accident from leaving the country, forcing an American military aircraft flown in for his departure to leave without him, local media reported on Saturday.The move came a day after Pakistan said it would restrict the movements of all American diplomats in the country in response to Washington’s similar restrictions on Pakistani embassy diplomats.“For the privacy and security of those involved, we cannot disclose the diplomat’s current location,” the State Department spokesperson said.

Pakistan is a crucial link to supplying American troops fighting the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan. But Washington has long believed it actually shelters the Taliban’s leaders, and President Donald Trump has cut off military aid in an effort to pressure Pakistan.A day earlier, an Islamabad court had ruled his diplomatic immunity may not apply in the April 7 traffic accident in which the U.S. attache’s vehicle hit a motorcycle, killing the 22-year-old driver, both papers reported. [L3N1RL0CW]

As a result, a U.S. Air Force C130 flown in to Pakistan’s Nur Khan air base outside Islamabad was forced to leave without him on Friday, Geo TV and the two newspapers reported.The new U.S. rules require diplomats to obtain permission to travel more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from their stations, the local Dawn newspaper reported.The U.S. State Department on Saturday confirmed the new restrictions on its employees in Pakistan but declined further comment.“We are in regular communication with our Pakistani counterparts. We do not discuss details of diplomatic conversations,” the spokesperson said.